This research proposal centers on determining the smartphone usage of college students. In order to do so, the research will adopt a quantitative research design that would use a five-point Likert questionnaire as primary research instrument. This instrument will be distributed to a sample population within a chosen locale, particularly higher learning institutions within a specific city or jurisdiction. Upon analysis of the data through measure theory or central limit theorem, the research would prove whether the selected respondents use smartphones primarily for social networking more than for productivity.
The research problem
Smartphones have become important devices for communication and productivity. Because of the computing and connectivity capabilities of these consumer electronic devices, they have become very useful. Individuals can use their smartphones to connect to the Internet and use several online services to include instant messaging, email, and social networking. Because of their processing capabilities, they can also use these devices for multimedia consumption, video gaming, photography and video recoding, and productivity. Undeniably, smartphones are compact computing and communication devices that provide several technological solutions for common everyday problems.
Members of the youth population, including students, are early technology adapters. This is evident from the fact that they constitute a considerable percentage of the smartphone market. Because of this, it is quite interesting to explore or determine how these individuals or more appropriately, consumer group use their smartphones. It becomes more interesting to determine how college students use their smartphones because doing so would bring forth an understanding of how the impact of technology in the lives of this particular population group.
Thus, this research proposal introduces the following research question: How do college students use their smartphones in consideration of identified device features categories to include communication, entertainment, and productivity.
Research design or methodology
The research will limit itself to probing college students in a particular locale—specifically a locale with several higher learning institutions within a particular city or jurisdiction. This limitation is important to bring forth specific conclusions about a defined population. Another limitation is that the research would only probe smartphone users and not tablet users in order to bring forth conclusions about a defined subject.
Nonetheless, in order to determine the smartphone usage of college students, this research will adopt a quantitative research design or methodology. As defined, quantitative research has an objective of developing and employing mathematical models, theories, and/or hypotheses pertaining to a phenomenon. Furthermore, quantitative research depends on data collection and their mathematical interpretation. It is important to note that this methodology is appropriate for identifying the relationship between two variables and in this case, between smartphone users and smartphone usage.
Data collection is at the heart of quantitative research and in order to do so, this research adopts a five-point Likert questionnaire. As a backgrounder, the Likert scale is a psychometric scale commonly involved in research that employs questionnaires. It is the most widely used approach to scaling responses in survey research. When responding to a Likert questionnaire item, respondents specify their level of agreement or disagreement on a symmetric agree-disagree scale for a series of statements. Thus, the range captures the intensity of their feelings for a given item.
The Likert questionnaire will be designed in a way that it will probe the perception of a respondent toward a particular scenario communicated through an open-ended question. Example proposed questions include: Smartphone helps me with research and assignments; Smartphone helps me maintain communication with friends and family; and Smartphone help me write documents or accomplish tasks that need computer; among others.
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